In defense of public education

About the C1 Resource Pack

Dear students,

Yesterday I learned/learnt the School won’t be able to publish this pack of resource cards because there is not enough money — cards are far more expensive than paper. (Apart from that, all of the possibilities I’ve been told about, like presenting this work to contests and things like that involve losing the right over the work in this precise sense: I would never accept not sharing my work for free on the internet. This is out of the question for me.) Fortunately, you already have the pilot version. Just remember that’s not the version for publication, and that I need to publish the final version, OK? But this does not affect your work. You can use the pilot version this year, if it helps you learn. It’s extra support.

This said, publication will happen (“will” for prediction) as soon as I ask for the compatibility permission we civil servant teachers need to request when we want to publish our own materials (and at least recover the money spent). Actually, I think this present outcome is going to be positive in the end, for the truth is I have a wealth of resources to share after so many years working so hard in the struggle of showing the world public/state-run education offers quality teaching and learning processes, and I do prefer to protect my independence, so as to have an 100% say on what I produce. In our world it seems that when your work can generate money, you lose your say in things. (And this explains why I am a writer without books! For me, losing a say is not an option! 🙂 )

Once I’ve requested “compatibility”, I’ll publish the resource pack as an indie writer, for a fee that covers production costs, postage and shipping — all of the things involved in distribution, too, I mean! 🙂 And perhaps a few extra euros to give to an unemployed younger relative of mine, who has dire prospects of finding a job in the career he has trained for and actually loves! At the same time, I’ll publish the pack online as a free download, because I believe in the construction of a Knowledge Society. I believe that sharing our knowledge and skills instead of saying self-destructive things and gossiping or fighting — the kind of things most people do every day at all times — can reduce violence in the world significantly. (People should spend more time learning and less time keeping busy with negative thoughts and words!)

There is great support for this project, so I’ll do this last effort, but I’d like to complain here, because busy people seem to be busier and busier all the time!: it’s funny (=strange) how women in general, and any independent person, find it so terribly difficult to do things that seem to be simple and easy, when the hardest part is actually writing outstanding work (and all of the other editorial tasks which I can do because I’ve worked with publishing houses and often edited all kinds of things independently, and anonymously)! I’ve written a valuable resource for advanced lifelong language learning — not original in the sense that we’ve been developing this approach since the 1980s (at least me as a teacher and a lifelong learner), but original in the sense that unfortunately obstacles for transformative, meaningful, communicative teaching and learning, on the part of learners, teachers, and education systems seem to be insurmountable most of the times — and if I didn’t have a job now (and money to save), it’s clear this would have been the end to it.

But the reality of cuts in public/state-run education in the past decade is a fact, and of course it had to affect this project of ours at our school.